Due West Adventures

The sailing adventures of Captain Kirk & Heidi, Tosh and Tikka Hackler . . .

24 December 2019 | Puerto Vallarta
15 December 2019 | Puerto Vallarta\
03 October 2019 | Puerto Vallarta
10 August 2019 | Puerto Vallarta
27 June 2019 | Puerto Vallarta
22 May 2019 | Cienfuegos, Trinidad, y Viñales, Cuba
16 May 2019 | Canarreos Archipelago, Cuba
25 April 2019 | Havana, Cuba
17 March 2019 | Puerto Vallarta
25 December 2018 | Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
26 August 2018 | Puerto Vallarta MX, ABQ, NM, and SEA, WA
01 May 2018 | Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
24 December 2017 | Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco Mexico
02 November 2017 | Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
11 October 2017 | Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
16 September 2017 | Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
29 June 2017 | Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, MX
26 May 2017 | Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, MX

Legs 7-10: San Francisco Bay ~ Half Moon Bay ~ Monterey Bay

31 October 2015
San Francisco to Monterey Photo Gallery

Palace of Fine Arts, from the Panama Pacific International Exhibition, San Francisco, 1915.

Our last week in the SF Bay Area was spent at the Berkeley Marina and exploring Berkeley. We motor-sailed from Sausalito to Berkeley via Tiburon, Raccoon Straits, and Angel Island. Not quite enough wind to sail without help of our trusty Perkins M50.

Once tied up at the end-tie of K-dock, we heard what sounded like Hindu chanting and music coming from the nearby park. We followed our ears to discover the huge Dashain festival of the Nepalese community. Hundreds of people wearing brightly colored clothing and scents of delicious food consumed us. We talked to a Nepalese man who told us this was the most auspicious festival of the year.

This made us very hungry for Indian food so we caught the bus into town to get dinner. Using a phone app to look for Indian food, we stumbled upon a Gluten-free Vegan restaurant, Saturn Café across the street from UC Berkeley. Heidi was ecstatic to find GF-vegan veggie burgers and fries, a rarity, if not Indian after all! They even had GF-vegan cupcakes, had to splurge!

Saturn Cafe, Berkeley: GF Vegan burger and GF Fries! Heidi is in heaven...

We caught the bus back to the marina as far as it went, then walked the last mile on a brightly lit bike path complete with amazing sculpture-art along the water.

The next day Kirk's old colleague Keith met us for lunch, and took us to a phenomenal Vegan, Gluten-free, GMO-free Mexican restaurant called Flacos--only in Berkeley!! We even bought a couple of pounds of their Massa to make our own tortillas at home. YUM!!

Kirk and Keith, both wetland scientists, have worked together on many projects over the years and Keith was one of Kirk's favorite people to work with. It was great to see him and catch up. After lunch Keith took us to Monterey Market, the most amazing produce market we'd ever seen. More than 5 varieties of cucumber, 10+ varieties of tomatoes, every variety of apple and orange imaginable, exotic fruits and veggies, and most of it organic! We got out of there with a FULL backpack, about 50 lbs of produce for $50! BEST deal in town!! It was also a cool, old warehouse, but we were so busy buying produce we neglected to get any photos. Go there if you are ever in Berkeley.

That night Heidi's cousin Renee picked us up for a family dinner. A quick stop at Renee's amazing house in the Oakland Hills overlooking Berkeley and San Francisco, and on to her sister Jenny's house in Walnut Creek for a big family dinner with lots of extended cousins and delicious food. It was like Thanksgiving a month early ~ wonderful to see so many of our family. Thanks Jenny & Renee!

Rugh cousins: Renee, Heidi and Jenny.

Because we weren't yet done "doing" San Francisco (can you ever be "done" with San Francisco?!), the next morning we hitched a ride back into the city with one of Heidi's "Women Who Sail" Facebook buddies (that group is AMAZING ~ if you are a woman and you sail, you need to join the FB group "Women Who Sail"!) Lisa dropped us off at the Marina Green and from there we walked on over to the Palace of Fine Arts, one of our favorite spots in the city. Kirk took lots of great pix.

Off to the Mission District to pick up Heidi's reading glasses from VEO (BIG THANKS James & Jade!), we had a wonderful Bhutanese Lyft driver who taught us that the true meaning of "Tashi" (our nick-name for Tosh-kitty) is "Auspicious"! And that "Tashi Delek" means "the most auspicious goodness." Yep, that's our Tashi! :-) Reading glasses in hand, we hoofed it to REI for a few boat parts, then on to the BART station for our ride back to Berkeley, to meet our good friend Maren for dinner.

Kirk's high school friend Maren visiting aboard Due West.

Kirk and Maren went to high school together and then years later she ended up with a boat on our dock in Seattle and we all got reacquainted. Maren was in the Bay Area visiting family and we ended up back at Saturn Café because we loved it so much. Catching up on old times and new, we closed the place down and then headed back to Due West where we chatted 'till 2am! So much fun to catch up with old friends. We hope Maren will come and visit us in route...

Enough playing around, time to get back to boat projects! Tuesday we worked on the boat all day, stowing things to head out of the Bay. Kirk washed the waterline, and stowed the dinghy, Heidi stowed the inside of the boat, which had exploded out-of-control from not moving much for a month plus she had to find places to stow 50 lbs of produce!? Our waterline took a beating, again... Early to bed, earl to rise, to head to Half Moon Bay to meet up with more friends...

Leg 7: San Francisco Bay to Half Moon Bay

Wednesday dawned a beautiful morning as we motored across the Bay from Berkeley to the Golden Gate. Sad to say goodbye to the Bay, we've had a fantastic month here! Not many other boats in sight except the huge container ship that decided to exit the Gate at the same time as us...fun and games and a BIG wake!

Golden Gate in the rear view... so long San Francisco Bay, you've been very good to us!

And we were off towards Half Moon Bay, a 4-hour trip. Once again we found waves on the beam and not enough wind to sail, so a rolly-motor trip it was. We were slated to meet up with friends Sharon and Tom who were flying their plane from Sea Ranch down to meet us for lunch. Sadly the fog set in about an hour north of Half Moon Bay and they couldn't land and had to turn back.

Half Moon Bay, another sleepy fishing town.

Half Moon Bay is an interesting place by boat. A working fishing port, the marina is full of fishing boats and sailboats come to die...covered in bird guano, ripped sails, moss-covered, sadness. We even recognized an old racing boat from Seattle on its last legs. On a brighter note, we met a lovely couple on a Catalina 37' from Sacramento-area who were our neighbors for the night.

We've met the most amazing people on this voyage, and Brenda and Jack on Show Biz were no exception. They are world-renowned entertainers who've performed for kings and queens and heads of state for many decades, Jack first performing for President Eisenhower when he was 10! Jack rides a unicycle and juggles everything including live-chainsaws! Brenda is a world-class magician ~ quite a pair, and so much fun to spend the evening chatting with them. Made us think of Lowell George's Little Feat song Roll Um Easy, "And I have dined in palaces, drunk wine with Kings and Queens..." They also told us to be on the look out for several of their cruising friends going our way... Rick & Maryalice, and Keith & Mary. They are all from the same marina in Richmond.

Leg 8: Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz

Another bright and early morning out of Half Moon Bay and we were on our way to Santa Cruz. More motoring, more waves on the beam...the story of the California coast during El Niño!?

Heidi working her NYR Organic business from the sea...

Heidi has been successfully working her Neil's Yard Remedies Organic business from the sea, handing out catalogs and samples in every port, and picking up customers along the way. Message her if you'd like to receive a catalog and samples of UK-based NYR Organic's toxin-free, cruelty-free, GMO-free, sustainable, organic personal care and beauty products (US only.) Or visit her NYR Organic website. She's also been blogging regularly about nutrition for Deepak Chopra's website Chopra Centered Lifestyle.

Due West entering Santa Cruz Harbor, thank you cousin Thea for being on the shore and taking photos as we arrived!

We were meeting yet more of Heidi's cousins for dinner in Santa Cruz. What a wonderful surprise to see María, Thea, and Alberta waving from shore and taking photos as we entered Santa Cruz Harbor. More family arrived and there were 12 of us for dinner at the Crows Nest. Cousins María and Peder treated us to two nights moorage and a shower card at Santa Cruz Marina, plus several bottles of wine for the ships stores, BIG THANKS for everything guys!! ☺ We love you!!

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Fun!

The next day we played tourists around Santa Cruz, the Beach, the Boardwalk, and town. Ran into the first of several cruisers that Jack and Brenda had connected us with. Rick and Maryalice from Sacramento also headed to Mexico on a Rifiki 37 s/v Notre Isle. We'll catch up with these new friends down the coast.

Kirk inflated our kayaks and stowed them on deck so we'd be all ready to paddle through Elkhorn Slough wildlife sanctuary once we arrived in Moss Landing.

Leg 9: Santa Cruz to Moss Landing and Elkhorn Slough

Pigeon Point Light House and Hostel, a fun place to stay.

You're not going to believe this... but we actually SAILED today! Nice breeze, even got to play with the Monitor Wind Vane and have it steer us... until we lost the feather that is... note to self: when they say tie the feather on with a lanyard... do so. Damn... now we need to buy/make another feather...

We called the Elkhorn Yacht Club and luckily they had room for us at their guest dock, two nights free moorage with our reciprocal Lahaina Yacht Club membership, but they would be rafting another boat to us. The Yacht Club side of the marina was much nicer than the municipal side which was like Half Moon Bay boats on steroids. 90% of these boats haven't left the dock in 20+ years... so sad.

Pelicans welcoming us to Moss Landing.

AMAZING wildlife abounds at Moss Landing: harbor seal haulout beach within 30-feet of our slip; sea otters swim RIGHT next to boat; sand spit beyond harbor seals is home to hundreds of gulls, pelicans, and shore birds. Did we mention that Tosh and Tikka are FREAKED? Won't even go out into the cockpit, too many animal noises and smells! Middle of the night sea otter cracking open shell with rock sounded like it was knocking its way INTO Due West.

How Tikka and Tosh spent our days at Moss Landing... hiding from all the animal sights and sounds out doors!

Friday night we were invited for drinks at Elkhorn Yacht Club, and ended up hanging out with the commodore and vice commodore and their wives all night. A FUN bunch of folks, a very inviting yacht club, and two-nights of free moorage can't be beat. BIG THANKS EYC, you guys were great! Any cruising friends headed south, be SURE to stop in here.

Captain Kirk at Elkhorn Yacht Club, Moss Landing.

Cool Animal Sightings of the Day

Sea otters, harbor seals, sea lions, pelicans, blue herons, cormorants, grebes, egrets and more hang out in Elkhorn Slough...This sea otter right next to Due West had it's flippers tagged for research.

Another early morning but this one gray and cool as we caught the flood and kayaked 1.5 miles up the Elkhorn Slough, surrounded by harbor seals, sea otters, pelicans, grebes, cormorants...and hunters in Viet-cong camouflage gear with a boat full of tree branches...freaky! Though this IS a wildlife sanctuary, apparently hunting is allowed on one side of it, and sadly we heard rounds of gunfire and watched two birds plummet to their death. It was an unnerving paddle back down the slough...still very cool to see all of the wildlife around us.

Back from our kayak we took a walk to the other side of Moss Landing and hit their produce market. Nothing like Monterey Market in Berkeley, and not any organic produce to be found. But the basil was cheap and we bought lots to take advantage of our shore-power, use the Vitamix, and make pesto. OMG, nothing quite like fresh, home-made pesto! Sooo good!

What to do with fresh basil leaves and garlic from Gilroy? Make home-made pesto in our Vitamix of course! Serve over sautéed polenta with sun-dried tomatoes. YUM!!.

We spent a fun evening hanging out with Neil and Marcia from Berkeley on an Ericson 36' who were rafted to us on the EYC guest dock. We'd hoped to meet up with Maryalice and Rick again in Moss Landing, but that didn't happen. Maybe in Monterey...

Leg 10: Moss Landing to Monterey

Another leg down the coast, same-ol-story, no wind, waves on the beam. Roll, roll, roll your boat...We hear tell that once we pass Point Conception we'll get wind. We're being careful what we ask for... we don't want too much wind thank you very much! Practicing Being Here Now and just going with it.

Lots of whale watching boats out in Monterey Bay. The week before they had seen more types and numbers of whales than had ever been seen in the Bay before, plus dolphins and sharks, all converging off Moss Landing. Unfortunately it looks like we missed that show by a week. We had the binoculars trained on all the whale boats and did manage to see two humpback plumes of spray and one tail slap, but that was it for whales for the day.

The fog rolled in about 45 minutes outside of Monterey Marina, luckily our radar and Marianne seem to be getting along nicely these days and no problems getting into the inner harbor as fog lifted just as we arrived. We still aren't getting AIS positioning onto Marianne (though we do have it on the VHF screen), that is a bit of an annoyance that we hope we can remedy soon. It would be very nice to see the AIS data ON the chart/radar next to the ship, just sayin'.

Due West snug in Monterey Harbor.

So nice to be back in Monterey/Pacific Grove area were Heidi spent a lot of her childhood with her grandparents, and even worked on the Wharf in college. Our good family friend Sheila is here and we are eager to hang out with her. More from Monterey to come soon...Happy Halloween!
Vessel Name: Due West
Vessel Make/Model: Passport 40
Hailing Port: Seattle, WA
Crew: Captain Kirk & Heidi Hackler + Tosh & Tikka
Captain Kirk and First-Mate/Navi-Girl Heidi untied the dock-lines in Seattle in August 2015 and set sail for Mexico with our two-kitty crew Tosh & Tikka. We've been in Mexico since then.  
Kirk grew up sailing in Seattle and has been boating his whole life. [...]
Extra: See pix of our boat here: Due West Interior Photos and in the Photo Gallery.
Home Page: http://svduewest.com
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